Over the past few decades, the realm of graphic design has changed. More precisely, it has expanded beyond print media to designing media for websites, tablets, and smart phones. It's a very technologically focused field and requires extensive knowledge of specific software programs. For this reason, the curriculum fits well into an online degree program, and there are several options available. However, like any other degree program, there are some things you should think through before starting courses and pursuing a career in graphic design. Certainly, you'll want to check out different programs to see what works best for you, but you'll also want to get to know the industry itself and determine if a career in graphic design is really for you.
Choosing the right school and degree program is important. This is especially true with degrees that are in the technology field, and with graphic design's focus on web design and digital imaging, it's definitely within the technology field. Accreditation is important. Make sure that the credits from your prospective school would transfer to another school. Also remember that a true bachelor's and associate's degree will include core classes that may not be directly related to your graphic design degree, such as History and English classes. A school that offers ″accelerated″ degrees that do not require these classes are often not fully accredited and you may end up with something more akin to a certification rather than an actual degree.
Equally important to choosing the right school is evaluating the industry to make sure that you will enjoy being a graphic designer. It is a fast-moving industry, one that will require constant education to stay attuned with the latest technology. A large percentage of graphic designers are self-employed. Those that are not tend to change jobs often. This industry requires an entrepreneurial spirit and considerable drive. You must constantly be looking for the next opportunities. In the course of earning your degree, most schools have you create a portfolio. This is helpful, but does not guarantee you a job, nor does it necessarily show that you have experience. Often it takes years to develop a reputable portfolio.
Graphic design is a popular field of study, and because of this, you have several choices for online schools. Just remember that it is worth your time to really look into the industry itself. Talk with someone who works in the industry and perhaps you can get a feel of what it is like to work in the industry. If you look into this career and it fits your personality and your goals, it can be very rewarding.